DCH Auriga HK Enhances Vaccine Visibility with GS1 DataMatrix


Ensuring Safety and Trust in COVID-19 Vaccination


Being selected to manage the storage and delivery of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Sinovac vaccine in Hong Kong, DCH Auriga, one of the largest healthcare distributors in Hong Kong, has made good use of its specialty cold chain expertise and unique healthcare-dedicated infrastructure that warrant an end-to-end supply chain solution throughout the project. 

For the temperature sensitive Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, they were packed in dry ice in thermal boxes designed to keep the vials at below -70 °C. The boxes are equipped with data loggers that monitor the temperature from source to destination, ensuring the vaccine is kept at ultra-low temperature. Having made very detailed preparations in full accordance with the requirements set by the drug manufacturers and the Government, DCH Auriga decided to take one step further to enable fast, efficient and safe distribution and administration of vaccines.

“GS1 Datamatrix standard serves as an effective component for enhancing track and trace visibility on COVID-19 vaccines distribution, improving significantly both data accuracy and time saving comparing to traditional linear barcode. It is also essential for health care providers to administer vaccines with confidence and improve the supply chain efficiency.”
Harris Kwok,
Assistant General Manager,Operations
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Before the deep-frozen Comirnaty vaccine is delivered to a vaccination centre or an outpatient clinic, it has to be thawed for 3 hours. DCH Auriga would add a unique GS1 2D barcode label (GS1 DataMatrix) during repacking, and pick each order of vaccine after thawing in a 2 - 8°C cold room before the delivery. The company would programme the important product details and thawing information into the Datamatrix barcode as well as secondary redressing into vaccine vials before distribution.

Vaccine identification label like GS1 DataMatrix is essential for healthcare stakeholders to uniquely identify and track-and-trace each dose, from delivery to point of inoculation. It brings transparency and helps to improve logistics coordination and validation, decreasing the risk of date expiration and vaccine diversion.

Embracing GS1 standards adds an element of trust at all levels of the supply chain—a trust that ultimately extends to the patients themselves. For this reason, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all vaccines be identified with identification information in a standardized barcode.

DCH Auriga executives also joined the tailor-made training course hosted by GS1 HK Academy, to learn the new technologies, requirements and skills in the ever-changing healthcare operational and regulatory environment. Designed to be practical, the training enables the participants to quickly adapt to changes and create real value for their clients.

GS1 standards used or solution (s) / service (s) applied

The GS1 Datamatrix standard and related training benefited DCH Auriga with:

  • Bring end-to-end visibility to vaccine supply chain that help to reduce vaccination risks
  • Elevate trust among stakeholders
  • Upgrade company staff know-how efficiently in the fast-paced operations
About Company

DCH Auriga is an Asian-based integrated market management provider specialising in healthcare, aiming to connect the world’s leading healthcare and life sciences companies to care providers and patients across Asia, with a comprehensive range of responsible and effective market management solutions.

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